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Untold Secret to Melodic Bass lesson: More on Lead-Ins

This lesson is derived from Jon Burr’s The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass. Be sure to check out the complete method book in downloadable PDF, Kindle Book and the all-new paperback formats.

I’d bet that you, the reader, have written something, and then later on felt like you found something else that really should have been in there. Well, this week’s column is one of those situations. This week we’re going to talk about something I left out of the book (oops!)

In our discussion of lead-ins, we focused on pitches approaching the target from either above it or below it. These work fine, but there’s another option! How about “from either side?”

Here in a walking bass line:
Walking Bass Line

In a sixteenth-note environment:
Sixteenth Note Environment

In a 12/8 feel:
12/8 feel bass line

You might notice that the above examples contain chromatic, diatonic or pentatonic structures in the note choices. The contents of the lead-ins are really flexible; we have a lot of options as long as we are “feeding the band” with the anchors and pivots.

In “classical theory,” these different melodic devices all have names. We’ve heard about “passing tones,” and possibly “suspensions,” and there are more. When a target is approached from both above and below as in the examples above, the approach notes are referred to as “changing tones…” (for those who collect arcane terminology for fun.)

In case you want to see more right now… The Untold Secret to Melodic Bass is available as a pdf download or as a Amazon Kindle book. And now in paperback edition!